After another ceremony by the monks we left for a day of pure pain and beauty. It’s amazing how close the two can come.
Pristine rain forest untouched, mind blowing. Like a surreal movie. The only way to understand is by looking at the pictures.
After a short 5k with only some uphill we had to master 20k of extremely steep (52% incline at times), muddy and stony trails. It turned into a brutal hike, no way to even walk.
Total race time was 7h and 54 minutes
I can’t describe in words what happened to me but I had it all, from hating myself for putting me into the situation to an emotional roller coaster at km 15. Lots of things came up during the following 20 min, but after I passed that point some internal booster started to work. From there on it felt very doable.
I finally arrived at the 20 checkpoint, which was the pass we had to cross to get onto the other side. After refilling with water, energy bars and some warm words from the locals I took of for the downhill.
Passing cows and plenty of friendly locals. Hard working people that share a smile with you as soon as you look at them. Part of the magic here.
Downhill turned out to be another challenge, as it was very muddy, had lots of roots and stones. I pursued with extreme caution to not hurt myself. It paid off.
I even caught up with a few folks that passed me earlier that day. My new energy management strategy worked out like a charm.
Now I’m rightfully tired and ready for dinner. Latter one is served now.
Past that we receive the race briefing for tomorrow and our 5 liter of daily water ration.
Best part today was the shower. A big bowl of water directly from the near river. Now I also have a new definition for cold.
More to come.
P.S. Today we were told to prepare for contact with the wild life. Bears, tigers but mostly big leeches. Latter one in the hundreds and impossible to avoid. The locals gave us a mixture of tobacco and salt but directions on how to use it differed. I decided to carry but not use it and consequently lost some blood. Oh, the leeches were actually fighting with the mosquitos over latter one. I’d say in my case they all got a fair chance.
20:13 bedtime. Will be another long day tomorrow …